The first of those challenges comes in the form of Australia and after recently winning the Tri Nations title, the Wallabies are on a high.
Paddy Power, official bookmaker of the IRFU, have installed the Aussies as strong favourites to win the match, but there will be more than a few people thinking the 10/3 for Ireland to cause an upset is worth a punt.
Patriotic punters may be disappointed in the Match Betting, but the 11 points Ireland get on the Handicap is far more appealing. They are Evens +11 and considering the tight nature of recent encounters between the two teams, it looks like outstanding value.
If Ireland are to claim a surprise win, it is likely to be by a narrow margin. If you are of a mind to think Ireland are capable of upsetting the odds, then taking the option of Ireland to win by 1-5 points at 8/1 is the way to go. The Alternative Margin of Ireland by 1-10 points @ 9/2 also covers a lot of bases.
There is something about the marauding style of Sean O'Brien that the Aussies would appreciate and if you fancy him to mark his return to the starting team with a try, there are several options.
He is priced at 20/1 to score the first try of the match, 17/2 to score the first Irish try of the match and - perhaps most enticingly - he is 6/1 to score a try at any time during the match.